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Floor Statement in Opposition to Sequestration

Mar 5, 2013
Floor Statement
Mister Speaker, I rise to voice strong opposition to the sequester, which was designed to be so severe and so catastrophic that we would be compelled to make the necessary compromises to avoid it. And yet we’ve done nothing.
Sequestration will have a disproportionate impact on the State of Maryland – which is home to nearly 300,000 federal employees and retirees – and my district, in particular.
The Second District is home to Fort Meade, NSA, Aberdeen Proving Ground, the Port of Baltimore and hundreds of contractors reliant on these.
We’re neighbors to the Social Security Administration, the National Institute for Health and BWI Airport.
Nearly 140,000 of workers at these facilities would face furloughs that will jeopardize their ability to pay their mortgage and put food on the table.
Maryland will lose about $14.4 million in funding education, putting the jobs of about 200 teachers at risk. 
More than 9,000 unemployed Marylanders will lose job-search assistance.
We’ll lose nearly $50 million in funding for medical research, which supports thousands of jobs in Maryland.
Many small businesses will lose loan guarantees, we’ll see longer lines at our airports and fewer inspections at food facilities. Support for our local firefighters and police will take a significant hit. 
We could even see the closure of the air traffic control tower at Martin State Airport – eliminating an extra set of eyes in a busy airspace as well as revenue.
Maryland can’t afford this approach to deficit reduction and neither can any other state in the nation. 
We have put forward serious alternatives to avert sequestration and I encourage leadership to either allow a vote on one of these alternatives or propose one themselves. 
We must all work together to avert this crisis.
I reserve the balance of my time.